This a Holy shrine of Lord Amarnath, a form of Lord Shiva. It is 145 kilometers from Srinagar and has an elevation of 3888 meters. A giant stalagmite is formed every year. It is worshipped as a “lingam”. The pilgrimage time or “amaranth yarta” begins in July every year and ends in August.
Legend has it that Lord Shiva told the secret of immortality to his wife, Parvati. It was overheard by a pair of pigeons who are still found there. Hence, this place came to be known as ‘Amarnath’ owing to the ‘Amarkatha’.
The cave has a height of 150 feet. It faces south. It stretches over a length of 90 feet. There is formation of four to five stalagmites which are worshipped as different gods. The largest one is the ‘Amarnath’. Towards its left is ‘Ganesha’ and towards its right is ‘Paravati’.
Moving further in the cave, one will find another small cave. Holy ash, which is chalk kind of substance, is distributed to the people.
The journey to Amarnath can be severe. The temperatures drop down to -5 degrees Celsius at night. Snowfall and rainfall are unpredictable.
How to reach Amarnath
By air: The nearest Airport is away in Badgam Distt. This Airport is connected with major cities of India.
By rail: The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu which is 300 Kms away and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with country.
By road: Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxis ply on the NH1A Highway. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountaineous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with country.